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UKG funds G4GC grantee partners through Close the Gap Initiative

Jun 30, 2022

Dear Community,

Grantmakers for Girls of Color is excited to have been selected as one of four grant recipients for UKG’s Close the Gap Initiative — a campaign to drive awareness and action to resolve pay disparities between men, women and underrepresented groups. This partnership enables us to directly support seven organizations working to increase girls’ and women’s access to economic prosperity.

“Closing the gap begins when girls experience hands-on career exploration while finding their voices as travel writers. When girls learn to communicate effectively, they have a head start in the confidence needed for success in any profession.”

~Merze Tate Explorers, grantee recipient

Work to address pay inequity for girls, femmes, and gender-expansive youth of Color starts even before they enter the workforce. These grants will champion various efforts around the country and along the continuum of girls’ lives, including access to education, financial support to participate in internships, and opportunities to advance their professional and career interests. Grants will support girls of Color’s capacity to engage in efforts to close the wage gaps that impact women and girls in their communities by building important skills including advocacy and organizing, journalism, storytelling, and participatory research with their peers. These research efforts will help us better understand how girls of Color are uniquely impacted by pay inequity and what resources and strategies are needed to dismantle policies and conditions that prevent them from experiencing justice, equity, and safety in the workplace as young people and in the long-term. Each of these organizations is addressing a particular aspect of this continuum.

We appreciate UKG for recognizing girls of Color as important stakeholders in the larger dialogue around pay equity. Their support affirms our fundamental belief that girls, femmes, and gender-expansive principles at G4GC: if we directly support their capacity to thrive now, we will all experience more just futures.

We invite you to learn more about these amazing organizations and this important initiative!

In community,

Maheen Kaleem, Esq

Vice President of Operations and Programs

Grantmakers for Girls of Color


Fannie Lou Hamer Institute for Social Advocacy and Action is an organization based in rural North Carolina working to empower, equip, and uplift Black women and girls by providing safe spaces for Black girls to build their leadership capacity. The Institute also engages in programming and training with various school districts to prevent marginalization and pushout of Black girls.

Merze Tate Explorers, located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, provides opportunities for girls of Color in grades 6th-12th to earn college credit during the exclusive Saturday College academy, where they learn media skills, social and emotional skills, communication, positive self-image, critical thinking, and how to develop their capacities as writers, videographers, photographers, and communications professionals.


Sister to Sister International, Inc. (STSI) is a nonprofit, non-governmental organization that links women, girls, and families of African descent globally, to the resources that connect, advance and strengthen them. They focus on health and wellness, education, and global affairs with a specific focus on economic prosperity and pay equity. Their work involves sponsoring campaigns, providing personal and professional development workshops and academic enrichment programs, and supporting youth in speaking directly to legislators and policymakers at the federal and global context, including participation in the UN Commission on the Status of Women and Girls convening. STSI published a first-ever Still I Rise: Status of Black Women & Girls in Westchester County research report in 2019 (updated in 2021) that included an analysis on entrepreneurship, pay equity and economic prosperity. With this research as a foundation, STSI created a collective impact workgroup that fosters collaboration and our ability to work across government, business, philanthropy, nonprofit organizations and civil society to achieve lasting social change.


IGNITE is a California-based, political engagement organization that supports young women who are ready to become the next generation of political leaders. They engage in community organizing, research, and activism to advance social and economic justice in their communities, and focus much of their energy on ensuring that girls are contemplated in economic and civil rights policy.

AAPI Women Lead and the #ImReady Movement aim to strengthen the leadership of Asian and Pacific Islander women, girls, and gender-expansive communities. Their work challenges the intersections of violence, including gender-based and economic violence, and is committed to working within and across AAPI and other communities of Color to build solidarity. The youth component of their work involves directly-engaged AAPI youth in participatory action research to better understand their experiences.

HEART to Grow
works to advance reproductive justice and uproot gendered violence in all Muslim communities. They engage in research, advocacy, narrative change, and policy strategies that include examining the experiences of gender-based violence experienced by Muslim girls, and young women and their link to economic access.

Voces en Acción/Voices in Action is a leadership and self-empowerment program for young women of Color, primarily Latina and Black girls, in Kentucky and Indiana. Participating youth receive support in exploring their artistic expression, developing career readiness, and accessing mentorship opportunities. This program specifically supports the children of immigrants and other mothers of Color who struggle to access enrichment activities due to pay equity gaps.

Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico is an organization committed to uplifting transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming people in New Mexico and beyond by creating access to resources, education, and skill-building that lead to thriving lives of abundance. They are committed to closing the gap for girls, women, and feminine of center people through advocacy, education, and direct services.